Burke's 6B victory sets up happy phone call home to South Africa
March 2012 - BLAKE TOPPMEYER - Herald-Whig Sports Writer
Bryce Burke was still standing in the scorer's tent at Westview Golf Course on Wednesday when he made his first post-round phone call.
Burke was simply too pleased from winning the 14-15 boys division of the Pepsi Titan Little People's Golf Championships to delay giving the news to his father, Allan, any longer.
Bryce Burke grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa but moved to Orlando, Fla., with his mother, Bridgette, about two years ago.
Allen Burke still lives in South Africa, however, and Bryce calls his dad immediately after every tournament he plays in.
This time he had especially good news.Burke won his division with a two-day score of 140, a mark of 2-under par. He carded a 3-under 68 on Wednesday and won his division by nine strokes over Aaron Wirt of West Des Moines, Iowa."
He didn't believe at first that I had won," Burke said. "He thought I was joking, but then he said, 'Very well done.'"
My dad is the first person I try to get a hold of. He's been the one behind me at all times. So has my mom. It's equal about between the two, but my dad is the one that got me up here (to the United States)."
Burke started on the back nine and made the turn at even par before lighting up the front nine.He birdied the par-4 second hole and after a bogey on the par-3 fourth, he birdied the par-5 fifth.
Then Burke all but sealed his victory with an eagle on the par-5 No. 6. He hit a 5-wood from about 260 yards out on his approach and left himself a 6-foot putt for eagle, which he drained.
Burke's round started to slide off track right before he made the turn, but he quickly righted the ship. He double bogeyed the par-4 No. 16 and hit his tee shot into the trees on the par-5 No. 17. Yet he got a favorable kick out of the trees and wound up making birdie on the hole.
"That got me going, and on 18 I hit my drive a lot better than (Tuesday) and stuck (the approach) just behind the pin and made a par and just walked off the green with a smile," Burke said. It proved to be a perfect example of how Burke didn't allow one bad hole to balloon into two or three bad holes throughout the 36-hole event."
I was making the saves where it counted and just not letting myself get ahead of myself," Burke said. "If I hit a bad a shot, I didn't beat myself up about it. I just walked up onto the next hole and hit." Jackson Wetherbee of Galesburg, Ill., finished third at 150, and Zach Hoskins of Orlando, Fla., and Quincy High School sophomore Kolbe Rodemich tied for fourth at 151.
Rodemich came it at 6-over on Day 2. He said he consistently found trouble during the tournament but often scrambled for par by hitting quality sand wedge shots to generate up-and-down opportunities."I feel confident with (the sand wedge)," Rodemich said.
Burke also let his short game and irons carry him throughout the tournament. "My drives were a bit off, but my approach shots were getting to the pin, and then my putting, I didn't have more than about 28 putts (Wednesday)," Burke said. "I had a few good one-putts. I had to fight for par on a few holes, but I still made the putts so it didn't hurt me. "It's a good win."
Major Championship at Larkin Statesville
Statesville, NC: (October 19, 2014)
The Hurricane Junior Golf Tour traveled to Statesville, NC on October 18-19 for the Major Championship at Larkin. Players encountered extreme elevation changes on the challenging Larkin Golf Club layout. Winners in all four divisions received an invitation to the 2014 HJGT Tour Championship. The boys 11-14, boys 15-18, and girls 15-18 were ranked by Junior Golf Scoreboard. Additionally, the top 20 finishers in each division received points towards year end honors which include HJGT state teams, ALL HJGT teams and the Hurricane Cup.
The Boys 15-18 division was a tightly contested competition that took a 2 hole playoff for a champion to be crowned. Bryce Burke and Salil Ghamande were tied after 36 holes at a total score of 146 this weekend and needed two additional holes to determine the winner. Burke drained a 10 foot birdie putt to win on the challenging par 3 second hole. Burke played consistent golf both rounds with a pair of 73’s. His stats were also very consistent with 3 birdies, 2 bogies, and 1 double bogey in each of his rounds. This was Burke’s first Hurricane Junior Golf Tour victory after finishing in 2nd four times this season. After the round we spoke with Burke who was ecstatic about the victory and said he was thrilled to finally have cracked into the winner’s circle. Coming in second place was Salil Ghamande with score of 72 and 74. Ghamande finished the weekend with 5 birdies and was the only boy in his division to shoot even par or better during the tournament. Ghamande scorched the par 5’s this weekend playing them at a -3 clip over the two rounds. In third place was Zak Butt of Summerville, SC. Butt finished the weekend with 4 birdies and 25 pars and also had a great weekend on the par 5’s (-2 overall). Butt is a former HJGT Tour Champion. The most improved player this weekend was Trevor Beckham of Corneilus, NC who improved by an impressive 15 shots from round 1 to round 2 and the recipient of a full set of Golf Pride grips.
The Girls 15-18 division was very tightly contested and came down to the wire, but in the end Emma Parson edged Kayla Smith by one stroke for the victory. Parson, who was a co-leader with Smith after first round, finished the tournament with 3 birdies and 19 pars. The par 3’s are where Parson played the best posting -1 on all par 3’s over the weekend. This was the best finish for Parson in her 3 starts on the HJGT this year. Coming in a close second was Kayla Smith of Middleburg, FL. Smith who made the long journey up from Florida seemed to have no problem making the adjustment from the flat courses of the south to the rolling hills of NC courses. After the first round Smith was co-leading the event and looked determined to win the tournament especially on the back nine posting an even par 36. This was Smith’s 5th top three finish of the 2014 who finished the weekend with 2 birdies and 19 pars. Coming in 3rd place was Alexis Whitney of Charlotte, NC. Whitney was down by 4 strokes after the first round but quickly made up ground in the second round and was tied with the leaders after 10 holes. This was Whitney’s 2nd consecutive top 3 finish (2nd at Charlotte Junior Challenge). The most improved was also won by Whitney for her division, improving by 8 stokes.
ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Bryce Burke
By Steven Ryzewski on November 13, 2014
A senior golfer for the Windermere Prep Lakers, Bryce Burke led the way as the Lakers finished third in the state in Class 1A last week at the 2014 FHSAA Golf Finals. Burke shot a combined 150 over two rounds (73, 77) and tied for sixth as an individual, making him our choice for Athlete of the Week.
Read the rest of the interview here:
Hurricane Cup – Sea Island Georgia
Considering today was individual stroke play and a vital format that can either contribute to a team’s success or demise, there were some noteworthy performances that deserve some credit. Bryce Burke out of South Africa and his partner Brett Ammon’s out of McDonough, Georgia, had a bit of a rough go on the first day of play.
Both Ammon’s and Burke are incredible sticks but did not seem to fully click during alternate shot and best ball. Apparently this lit a fire under Burke because he came back on day two to shoot a breath taking 69 (-3), the low round of the tournament. Best of luck to Mr. Burke in the upcoming years and we hope to see a lot of good things from the young man. It would be wrong not to shed some light on Cody Carroll, bearing in mind that he is the Player of the Year and just won another event. It was an odd format and is actually considered a team victory, but when you win as well as fire the low round for your division, 74 (+2), you cannot go unnoticed.
Congratulations to Cody on all his outstanding accomplishments. The same goes for the young lady out of Jacksonville, Florida, Amelia Root. Only adding to her esteemed resume, Root played virtually perfect today. Also firing the low round for her division, 73 (+1). Lastly, though she may not think she is deserving of an honorable mention, Sydney Merchant out of Lake Mary, Florida will get one anyways.
Coming in a tie for the low round of the day, Miss Merchant threw on an exciting performance throughout the day. Piping drives and hitting greens was her prerogative during round two until she hit a little snag on the eighth hole (her seventeenth hole) where she had to take two unplayables. This was a costly set back and took her out of the running for first place but just shows how stellar she was playing. Even with this disastrous hole, Merchant still managed to take home some silver hardware. Thank you to all the Hurricane Cup Participants and Sea Island for an unforgettable weekend!